November 16, 2017
In September 2017, over 1,100 professional health & wellness coaches passed the first Health and Wellness Coach Certifying Examination (HWCCE) to earn the new credential: National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC). The certification examination is provided by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), a collaboration between the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).
The profession of health & wellness coaching has emerged to address an urgent and widespread need – to increase individuals’ engagement in health-giving lifestyles that prevent and treat chronic conditions. While the profession has grown, so has variability in the standards of health & wellness coaches who are employed from clinical settings to universities, health plans to private practices and health clubs. To deliver consistent standards for the new profession, the NBHWC, a consortium of thought leaders and 52 health & wellness coach training and education programs, and the NBME, which develops and administers physician licensing examinations in the United States, joined forces to establish standards for health and wellness coach training and education programs and a coach certification exam.
The National Board Certification for Health & Wellness Coaching is based upon a set of competencies for appropriately developing the coaching relationship, communication techniques, processes for behavior change, health and wellness knowledge, ethics and professional development, and more. All practitioners who meet eligibility requirements and pass the examination are designated National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWC). These practitioners are demonstrating a standard of practice that assists employers and members of the public in selecting a health & wellness coach.
The over 1,100 practitioners who earned the NBC-HWC credential will be listed in an online public directory by January 1, 2018 at www.ichwc.org.